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Mom: Robbery, shoot-out suspects 'made bad decisions'


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The only survivor in a Friday night shoot-out with police was in court this afternoon. Jalani Smith made a video appearance from jail as his family watched in the courtroom.

"Unfortunately, they made bad decisions, and we can't take that back," his mother Regina Smith said.

As Smith's family sat in a New Hanover County courtroom Monday afternoon, they saw and spoke with their son for the first time since Friday night's shoot-out telling him they love him and to keep his head up.

"He is not a bad child, and we want him to know we are behind him 100 percent," Regina Smith said.

Investigators say late Friday night Smith, Ronald Dashawn Roland and Tevin Robinson robbed the Pizza Hut on S. 17th St. As they left police were waiting. Police said when the trio failed to follow commands from officers, gunshots were exchanged. Smith survived, but Roland and Robinson died.

"As a mother, I lost two boys: Ronald Roland and Tevin Robinson," Regina Smith said. "They're both our kids. They were in the home with us all the time."

Smith is sitting in the New Hanover County Jail under a $1.5 million bond.

As he waits to learn his fate, his father has a message to his alleged victims.

"To the family of the victims, we as parents, would like to apologize on behalf of our kids' mistakes, and hopefully this is a learning curve for all others," Fredrick Smith said.

Wilmington Police say Friday night's shoot-out does not clear the string of restaurant robberies. WPD and several other agencies are still investigating.

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